Five-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jared Allen visited the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, The News Tribune confirmed. He left without a deal after making what is expected to be the first of several team visits for the free agent.
Allen had 11.5 sacks last season with the Minnesota Vikings. He has had at least 11 sacks in each of the past seven seasons.
The Seahawks have made several moves this offseason to manage their salary cap space, so the cost of Allen would be paramount. He might be looking for a deal similar to that of DeMarcus Ware, who was released by the Dallas Cowboys and signed a three-year, $30 million contract with the Denver Broncos.
Seattle cut veteran pass rusher Chris Clemons this offseason to get out from under his $7.5 million salary cap hit. The Seahawks have roughly $14 million of salary cap space remaining.
Allen turns 32 in April, but he played in all 16 regular-season games for the Vikings in each of the past six seasons. He spent his first four NFL seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Looming behind all offseason decisions for the Seahawks is the effort to get extensions done with free safety Earl Thomas and cornerback Richard Sherman. Each can become unrestricted free agents in 2015.
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network was the first to report Allen’s visit.
Also Sunday, former Seahawks cornerback Walter Thurmond signed a one-year deal worth a reported $3.5 million with the New York Giants.
Thurmond drew interest from the San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins and Jacksonville Jaguars after playing his first four seasons in the league with the Seahawks. Thurmond was often hurt during his time in Seattle, appearing in just eight games total during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. He was also suspended multiple times.
Thurmond most often was used as the nickelback after the Seahawks selected him out of Oregon in the fourth round of the 2010 draft. Thurmond was the highest cornerback selection for the Seahawks since John Schneider took over as general manager in 2010.
Byron Maxwell is expected to remain the starting cornerback opposite Sherman, and Jeremy Lane likely will take over duties at the nickel.
Thurmond is the sixth unrestricted free agent to leave the Seahawks this offseason. Wide receiver Golden Tate (Detroit Lions), defensive tackle Clinton McDonald and safety Chris Maragos (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), cornerback Brandon Browner (New England Patriots) and offensive tackle Breno Giacomini (New York Jets) also have departed.